Oprandi Surprises Rezai

Italy's own Romina Oprandi reached her first career semifinal with a stunning upset.

Published July 16, 2010 12:00

Oprandi Surprises Rezai
Romina Oprandi

PALERMO, Italy - Italian former Top 50 player Romina Oprandi kept giving her home crowd something to cheer about on Friday, stunning No.2 seed Aravane Rezai in the quarterfinals of the clay court stop in Palermo, 75 60.

In what was seemingly a mismatch pitting No.20 against No.90, Oprandi, a wildcard, was broken in the first game and was two points away from going down a double break serving at 0-2, 30-30. That was the turning point though, as the 24-year-old got right back into it, winning seven of the next 10 games to take the set then rolling past Rezai in a 23-minute love second set.

Oprandi put together a Top 50 season back in 2006, finishing at No.46 on the strength of her first two quarterfinals at Rome and Budapest; since then she hasn't finished a single season inside the Top 200, but now she is back in the Top 100 thanks to some stellar results on the ITF Circuit (she is 36-7 there).

This will be Oprandi's first career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour semifinal.

"I'm very happy because this is my first semifinal," Oprandi said. "Today's match wasn't easy. This is my best win since I beat Zvonareva four years ago. I hope to continue this way. I feel very good about my tennis right now."

Next up for Oprandi is another player who has been rebounding this year, Kaia Kanepi. Seeded No.5, Kanepi crushed No.3 seed Sara Errani, 62 62.

"I've made a lot of progress on clay and today I played some very good tennis," Kanepi said. "Sara wasn't easy to play against but I was always leading."

Flavia Pennetta kept the hopes of an all-Italian final alive with a 64 62 win over Nuria Llagostera Vives in the feature night match. Pennetta, the No.1 seed, saved her first ace of the match for match point - meanwhile, Llagostera Vives, a qualifier but a former Top 40 player, had no aces to six double faults.

In the semifinals Pennetta will face No.8 seed Julia Goerges, who made it past American veteran Jill Craybas handily earlier in the day, 62 64.

Oprandi is 1-0 head-to-head against Kanepi, winning at an ITF Circuit event four years ago; Pennetta and Goerges will be playing for the first time.

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